Skip to main content

4 Signs It's Time to Hang Up Your Scrubs

Written by: Alex Brown
Published on: Sep 29, 2022

4 Signs Its Time to Hang Up Your Scrubs-1

If you’re a healthcare professional wondering whether it’s time to make a career change, you’re not alone: a recent CHG Healthcare survey showed that nearly half of physicians changed jobs during the pandemic. In another recent survey by HospitalQ, 90% of responding nurses said they are considering leaving the profession within the next year. Many clinicians are reconsidering their career choice in the face of rising burnout levels, lawsuits, and paperwork.

The good news is there are plenty of healthcare-related options if you want to make a change. Some include consulting, health insurance, and pharmaceuticals. But how do you know whether you are having a bad day, week, or even month, or you’re genuinely unhappy with your career choice? Here are four signs that a career change might be your right decision.

You Struggle to Go to Work Each Morning
All of us have to force ourselves to work sometimes. Whether you had a late night, there’s something else you would rather be doing, or you’re exhausted from the day before—it’s not unusual to have a difficult day here and there. However, it’s a red flag something needs to change if you’re finding that you consistently must peel yourself out of bed to get to work.

Difficulty getting your day started by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that a career change is in order. Physicians are at high risk for clinical depression, which often makes getting out of bed in the morning a challenge. However, if you find that you’re dragging yourself to work constantly coworkers and have multiple signs of career dissatisfaction, it might be time for a change of pace.

You Like Your Career but Dislike Your Work Environment
Cultural fit is a critical component of a happy work environment. You can dislike your work environment even if it is not a toxic workplace. Unfortunately though, your performance can suffer if you continue to struggle to fit. If you are constantly uncomfortable in your environment, it might be time for a change even if you like the role itself.

Before jumping into a different job, it might be worth speaking with management about clinical or administrative changes that could make the environment more appealing. However, if you find leadership is unwilling or unable to make changes, it might be time to move on to another employer.

You Never Feel Like You Can Get Everything Done
You likely won’t find a job without paperwork and administrative duties. However, there should be plenty of time to concentrate on the parts of your job that made you want to become a doctor, such as seeing patients and performing procedures.

Spending too much time navigating administrative tasks will likely leave you disillusioned with your job. If you find the paperwork never-ending and can never seem to get on top of things, it might be time for a change.

4 Signs Its Time to Hang Up Your Scrubs-2
Making Changes in Your Personal Life Doesn’t Improve the Situation
Changing jobs is not always the answer when it comes to job dissatisfaction. Every role comes with its own irritations and challenges, so it might be worth checking in with yourself to see if there are changes you can make in your personal life to improve your professional one.

Investing in your health, improving your time management skills, and speaking with a therapist are all positive changes that could help with career struggles. However, if you’ve made changes and still find work unsatisfying, it’s a red flag that your job is probably the problem.

Find a Happy Place
You might hesitate to change careers when you’ve invested so much time and energy in your current role. However, there are plenty of options if you find your work days a struggle.

It’s worth taking a step back, assessing your current career trajectory, and deciding whether it aligns with your overall life goals. Recognizing the signs of job dissatisfaction and making proactive changes could spare you from investing additional years in a career you hate.

To get our latest healthcare career tips and resources, bookmark the myHealthTalent blog today!